Hurricanes win

Miami, FL – Containment was the name of the game and the Miami Hurricanes did just that, holding #20 Virginia to three field goals as they outlasted the Cavaliers 17-9 Friday night for the win at Hard Rock Stadium.

Earlier in the week, N’Kosi Perry was named the starting quarterback with Turner Davidson taking over field goal duties.

UM once again stormed out of the gates on their first possession, staying aggressive throughout the drive. They even went for it on a fourth and seven. Perry kept the ball to himself and rushed left, making it to the Virginia 15-yard-line for the first down. Then on second and 12, Perry tossed the ball over to DeeJay Dallas just before getting tackled. Dallas was aided by three blockers going right, heading straight into the endzone for the 17-yard score.

The defense kept Bryce Perkins and the Cavaliers contained for much of the night, making key defensive stops at several instances during the game. 

The Cavs were looking at a fourth and one to start the second quarter over on Miami’s 24-yard line. Running back Wayne Taulapapa got the handoff and immediately ran into a brick wall, stuffed for no gain.

Jimmy Murphy, UM’s own Rudy, laid down the hurt. He tackled Virginia punt returner Billy Kemp immediately after receiving the kick from Miami’s Louis Hedley later in the half.  

The Cavaliers seemed poised to put points on the board later in the quarter, but the 38-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Pat Bethel with 4:41 remaining. It was the first block by the team since September 8, 2018, against Savannah State.  

Virginia drove down the field in the waning seconds of the half and after a great effort by the D to keep the opposing team out of the endzone, they were forced to settle for three points. A 25-yard field goal attempt.

After a good first drive, the offense remained quiet until the fourth quarter with the ground game largely limited. In fact, outside the opening possession, the offense only produced 20 more yards before heading into the locker room. By halftime DeeJay Dallas rushed only seven times for 23 yards. In fact, after two quarters, total rushing only tallied 37 yards. By the end of the game, there was a total of 83 rushing yards.

Virginia’s frustrations continued in the third quarter. Driving down the field, they were sitting on a first and 10 deep in Miami territory, only to be stymied again. The Hurricanes forced a fumble near the 20-yard line for another defensive stop. 

Despite the performance, they did have one blemish in the game.

Later in the quarter, Amari Carter was disqualified from the game for targetting. Officials threw a second flag for illegal substitution when the safety did not get off the field fast enough. 

 

The Cavs threatened to take the lead minutes into the fourth period. Bryce Perkins made a beautiful pass to Dejon Brissett put them deep into the red zone. However, upon further review, the call was reversed. The ACC rival was ultimately turned away settling for yet another field goal, keeping them within one. 

I will say this much, I have never been so impressed with a quarterback who failed to score a touchdown. Perkins played tremendously well in the open field, but Miami kept him in check when it came to the red zone. 

There were a total of four field goals in the game. Davidson nailed his lone 19-yard attempt and was two-for-two on the PATs.

The Canes drove down the field late in the game, extending their run with a 24-yard pass to Mark Pope and a 17-yard rush by Dallas. UM finally iced their ranked opponent after Virginia used up its final time out with just over two minutes left in the game. On third and goal on the Cav’s three, Perry looked for a receiver but chose instead to dive into the endzone. 

The home team played a lot cleaner, committing only four penalties and zero turnovers, a far cry from last week’s sloppy game against Virginia Tech.

When asked about the change at kicker, coach Manny Diaz said Davidson had better warm-ups than Bubba Baxa, pointing out it was not a permanent move.

The Miami Hurricanes improve to 3-3, winning their first ACC conference game of the season (1-2). They will host Georgia Tech next weekend, capping off a five-game homestand. 

Photo Credit | Tony Capobianco

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Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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